20th January, 2015
A lot has been said about the president that has no shoes and even more adjectives have been used to describe him in relation his tenure as the C-in-C of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Legally, a man is innocent until he is proven otherwise but I’m sure Nigerians don’t need to get to the point of proof for in so many instances has proof been standing in front of us and we turn a blind eye. Alas Fela Anikulapo Kuti had long foretold that “our people go see RED and them go say na WHITE”.
Yes we don’t need proof; all we need at this juncture is a little clarification of some pertinent issues that might enlighten the minds of the voting populace as well as citizens both at home and in Diaspora.
A friend’s father was the first person to say to me that “you don’t judge a book by its cover” and more importantly “you don’t come to conclusion on a matter unless you have heard both sides of the story”.
Hence I’d like to enumerate five issues I think GoodLuck Ebele (Azikwe) Jonathan or someone within his counsel should shed more light on or recount in details their own perspective in as much their views are different from mine and the average Nigerian.
The first of these is (there is actually no specific order or graduation in terms of weighted value) WHAT ACTUALLY BECAME OF THE EXCESS CRUDE OIL FUNDS INHERITED BY THIS GOVERNMENT? Yet even above that WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE $20 BILLION THAT SANUSI LAMIDI SANUSI DECLARED MISSING?
While the current emir of Kano might not be able to lay claims to sainthood it is still noteworthy to remember that he was an astute and competent banker that rose through the ranks to the pinnacle of his profession yet he was unceremoniously dismissed from his lofty position as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria all because he blew the whistle on some irregularities he discovered while performing his duties. It only seems unfair then that Nigerians are still being kept in the dark over the findings of the inquiry that went down in the apex bank because our Senators were confused by the Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who responded when summoned to the upper chambers.
Secondly, HOW WAS THE N1 TRILLION ALLOTTED TO DEFENCE UTILIZED? As on a daily basis the incessant flow of the automatic rifles branded by the terrorists rouse our brothers in the North-East from their slumber while the bombings have become so frequent that they no longer make the headlines barely sharing space with sport stories on the inside/back pages of daily newspapers.
The Nigerian Armed Forces on the 15 January, 2015 celebrated its Remembrance Day but with all due respect having been reduced to a band of cowards wearing “civies” beneath their uniforms to enable them escape if and when the battle front gets beyond their control which peaked at the debacle of having to slink into neighbouring Cameroon, all these amid the cries of superior firepower being wielded by the terrorists. Alarmingly Shekau himself frequently does his propaganda with an APC (armoured personel carrier) in the background.
This is in tandem with the third question; WHAT EXACTLY IS THE TRUE STORY OF THE BOKO HARAM FUNDING AND DO WE GIVE UP ON THE CHIBOK GIRLS AND ALL OTHER KIDNAPPED BOYS AND GIRLS? Before the bombings became a dime a dozen, I recall that the president said that he knew the sponsors of Boko Haram within his cabinet. I remember feeling then that if we can “nab the top dogs the little sheep shall scatter” but alas till this day the President has not only refused to reel those names but has refused to persecute the likes of Modu Sherrif and co who has been named as sponsors of the sect.
At this junction do we simply assume that our kidnapped girls and women will never return home? Will there never be justice for those our innocent men and brothers cut down in their prime?
When the names of women like Mrs. Ransome-Kuti, Dora Akunyili and Obi Ezekwesili are branded about you only hear good reports being spewed with awe and respect. Yet the same does not hold true for the principal female cabinet members of this present administration. Allegations of corruption and mismanagement of the nation’s resources have not only become synonymous with theirs but also their apparent disdain and disrespect of both houses of legislation and there is also the political upheaval being perpetrated by the wife of the president in Rivers and now Bayelsa States. The Yoruba people say that a man that cannot control his women folks has no business in the affairs of community administration.
Finally, WHAT EXACTLY IS NNPC SUBSIDISING? We do not know till today the exact amount of crude oil being produced on a daily basis as different agencies of the government came up with different figures in the oil subsidy probe of 2012. Alas that panel’s report got swept into the abyss of governmental paralysis alongside every other panel report that has been produced since the return tof democracy in 1999.
The people who were indicted by the report as well as the ministries and agencies whose ineptitude have continually resulted in losses either in income earnings or loss of crude oil still roam about freely.
The recent slump in crude oil prices worldwide should have resulted in a reduction of the pump prices earlier as was witnessed by other countries especially the OPEC members but since the ministry of finance in tandem with NNPC refused to shore up when the oil prices were high, we are now feeling the pinch most as the naira continues to fall against the dollar.
At this juncture I would like to add that in the same week that the dollar was being exchanged for N180 it was a miserly 3 Ghanaian cedis. If the people cannot benefit from these international economic indices, it then begs the question of what exactly the NNPC is subsidising and/or regulating.
I am sure that most readers would have other questions more pertinent to their walks of life but these are the ramblings of a mind that sits on the precipice of melancholy before what is to be one of the most important elections in this country since HOPE ’93 was annulled.
Nicholas Adesina is an environmental consultant and project manager in Lagos.
Email: [email protected]